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A vaginal prolapse is a bulging of the bladder, uterus or bowel into the vagina. Around 50% of women who have ever had a child will have a prolapse, but young women who have never had children can also experience one, especially if they are hypermobile ("double-jointed") or suffer constipation. It can be frightening when a prolapse is experienced as a sudden bulge or feeling or something coming out of the vagina. A prolapse can give symptoms of incomplete emptying of the bladder, or inability to empty the bowels even when you can tell the stools are "right there". A severe prolapse can only be helped with surgery, but milder prolapse can improve greatly with pelvic floor physiotherapy, targeted nutrition and reduction of abdominal fat. Beware of abdominal crunches and Pilates, as these can worsen a prolapse.

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